British Medical Association announces £20,000 for Humanitarian projects in developing countries


The British Medical Association (BMA) has opened the application process for the 2013 Humanitarian Fund grants. NHS teams planning to work overseas on health projects can now apply for grants of up to £3,000. The Fund, which is administered by the BMA’s International Department, will allocate a total of £20,000 to new projects in 2013.

Last year grants were given to a range of projects such as:

Training local healthcare workers in Cambodia to better deal with the victims of landmines

A programme to reduce infant mortality in Uganda by training staff in newborn resuscitation

A project to improve health care in a hospital for older people in Myanmar.
Dr Terry John, Chair of the BMA’s International Committee, said:

The BMA Humanitarian Fund has been supporting healthcare workers working in developing countries to deliver lasting healthcare improvements for over 10 years. I am always impressed by the fantastic work done by the doctors who apply for grants and would encourage those looking to take part in projects in the coming year to get their applications in.”

The grants provided by the Humanitarian Fund provide financial support to NHS staff working to improve healthcare in the developing world and the BMA is looking for applications from those planning to work with communities to deliver sustainable improvements. The grants are intended to cover costs such as travel expenses and accommodation that can often be a barrier to getting a humanitarian project off the ground.

Birmingham consultant in rehabilitation medicine Bandara Panagamuwa and consultant prosthetist Bernard Waldron visited Sri Lanka last year with the help of a BMA grant. Dr Panagamuwa is a trustee of the Meththa Foundation UK charity, which helps provide artificial limbs to patients injured in ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. He said that the BMA’s Humanitarian Fund “enabled us to visit Sri Lanka on three occasions and provide 203 modern modular artificial limbs and appliances to [patients] who would have otherwise not received this level of service.”